Spa selections 2020: Saratoga picks August 29
Ginger N Rye won the 2017 Smart N Fancy Stakes at Saratoga. Photo by Chelsea Durand/NYRA.
by Joseph Aiello
In Spa Selections, Saratoga on-site correspondent Joseph Aiello provides Saratoga picks for a handful of key races at Saratoga, including all of the exciting stakes action!
Race 3 – Grade III Saranac Stakes
1. #5 Don Juan Kitten (4-1) – Takes a step up in class but has been running as well as anyone here, timing will be key for this colt
2. #1 Vanzzy (7-2) – If the turf is soft, take L’Imperator, but this colt will have good stalking position and should run well here
3. #9 Embolden (8-1) – Has never finished out of the money and seemed to adjust well to the mile last time out, plus should be good value with Jose Ortiz
Race 6 – Mdn 72k
1. #1 Newbomb (3-1) – Irad and Pletcher duo have won at a thirty-three percent clip together this meet, and have a promising colt here who should run well
2. #4 Highly Motivated (7-2) – Klaravich and Brown seemingly win everything together, and this colt by Into Mischief may not be an exception to that rule
3. #10 Happymac (5-2) – The other Chad Brown trainee looks incredibly formidable, but this two year old by Runhappy had a price tag of 800k
Race 7 – Grade II Amsterdam Stakes
1. #1 Basin (7-2) – Should be sitting off the leaders plus was clearly distance limited so a return to shorter will help this colt improve at Saratoga where he is two for two
2. #2 Yaupon (8-5) – This Asmussen trainee is probably best suited sitting off of Long Weekend and others who may go too fast, and is the most logical here with the right trip
3. #5 Wonderwherecraigis (10-1) – Showed speed last time out in the slop, and if the track is wet may be a decent bet along with Liam’s Pride, but can also close if necessary
Race 8 – Grade I Forego Stakes
1. #11 Fortin Hill (6-1) – Takes a big step up in class, but certainly has the speed to compete here and has a win on a sloppy track under his belt in the case of rain
2. #8 Firenze Fire (8-1) – If the track is wet, Complexity, Lexitonian, Mind Control and True Timber may be better plays in that order, but this horse still has enough talent to run well here
3. #2 Whitmore (7-2) – The most consistent here and runs amongst the best in his class even at seven, so can’t be ignored to at least come in the money in a brutally tough field
Race 9 – Grade I Sword Dancer Stakes
1. #2 Aquaphobia (4-1) – Distance stretch last time proved to be beneficial for this horse who has as good a chance as anyone to win here in a wide-open field
2. #5 Corelli (6-1) – Along with Pedro Cara this gelding has done most of his racing outside of North America, but ran well last time in the Grade I United Nation at Monmouth
3. #8 Sadler’s Joy (5-2) – Could play Pedro Cara or Cross Border, but this seven year old looks for revenge after being disqualified from first last time in the Bowling Green
Race 10 – Mdn 72k
1. #7 O’Gotten Girl (4-1) – Goes turf to dirt after a solid third place debut, giving this filly a leg up on her competition most of whom haven’t started
2. #5 Zainalarab (7-2) – First time starter filly by War Front will be battling with the other Chad Brown first timer among others in this tough field
3. #3 Jouster (4-1) – Another first time starter two year old for Todd Pletcher, this filly should be up to the task of taking on the others here
The fourth Kentucky Derby future wagering pool will kick off Friday, and 2yo champ Forte is the top individual choice on the morning line.
We provide full-card picks and analysis for this afternoon’s races at Laurel Park.
We provide picks and analysis for this evening’s card at Charles Town Races.